Draft week has finally arrived as the hard work of the past eleven months comes to fruition starting Thursday- on paper anyway. We will update this blog throughout the week with news prevalent to the NFL Draft as it comes in. April 25: Silatolu the fastest riser in round one??
April 25- 1:40
– Word is Matt Broha, defensive end of Louisiana Tech who most project to outside linebacker, will be selected somewhere during the draft’s final day.
– Thought this will not come as a surprise to anyone, universally teams are sour on the talent at tight end and safety. Several teams have given just six players at each position top 150 grades.
April 25 10:50AM
– Earlier this week we alerted readers that the San Francisco 49ers were looking hard at Midwestern State guard Amini Silatolu in the first round. We received word from several sources the New York Jets flew out to California yesterday and privately worked out the fast rising offensive lineman then spent significant time with him. Would they take Silatolu at pick number 16? Unlikely but would consider him if they could trade down.
– We continue to hear that teams have safety Mark Barron rated as a top ten player. Several teams around the league have Barron ranked 6th on their draft board.
– I’ve been told by several people the Baltimore Ravens will jump at the chance to draft Shea McLellin if he’s available for them in round one. Otherwise they could draft Peter Konz.
April 24th 4PM
– Heard from a few league insiders who tell me word is the Cleveland Browns will take Trent Richardson/RB/Alabama with their first pick in round one then the best available receiver with their next selection in the frame.
– With so many question marks at the offensive tackle position I am told the big beneficiary will be Mitchell Schwartz of Cal, who could be drafted much higher than most expect. Sources we talk to not only point to the way Schwartz was the only player to shut down Quinton Coples at the Senior Bowl, but go as far back as his redshirt freshman season when he controlled then USC senior Clay Matthews. How early could Schwartz be drafted? The Washington Redskins would love to select him to protect Robert Griffin III with their second selection in the draft, but Schwartz will be long gone. The New York Jets may consider him in the middle of the second frame then again we hear if the Minnesota Vikings trade out of the third slot and pass up on the opportunity to draft Matt Kalil, its entirely possible they take Schwartz at the top of round two. The Cleveland Browns are also looking hard at Schwartz at the top of the second frame.
– Fast rising small school cornerback Jeremy Lane has been getting a lot of attention from the Carolina Panthers, Chicago Bears and Cincinnati Bengals.
– Word we heard last night is Marvin Lewis and the Bengals will use one of their two selections in the initial frame to draft Courtney Upshaw.
April 24th 11:30AM
– The consensus is the Minnesota Vikings will do everything they can to move out of the draft’s third slot but in the end may have no takers. Ditto for the Jacksonville Jaguars,who we hear have been shopping the 7th pick, almost in desperation, yet have found no buyers.
– We continue to hear the Detroit Lions will look offensive line in round one if they are locked out of the top cornerbacks. And just as we posted the week of April 2nd, we hear there’s a large faction of decision makers in the organization keen to choose Jonathan Martin of Stanford. We continue to hear the offensive line situation for the Lions is a mess and besides the situations surrounding Jeff Backus and Gosder Cherilus as previously reported, sources tell us offensive guard Rob Sims showed up woefully out of shape last week.
– Last week we alerted readers the San Francisco 49ers pick in the first round will come down to the highest rated guard or receiver Stephen Hill. Several sources told us last night the guard the team has its sights on is Amini Silatolu of Midwestern State, and the franchise will not hesitate to pull the trigger on the small school prospect in round one.
April 23rd 2:15PM
– Will the New York Jets select a safety early in the draft despite signing LaRon Landry in free agency? Our information is yes, as sources point out Landry was only given a one-year deal. So who is the team targeting?? Sources tell us the Jets safety board is in the following order: Mark Barron/Alabama, Harrison Smith/Notre Dame, Brandon Taylor/LSU, George Iloka/Boise State then Trent Robinson/Michigan State. Taylor is the one to watch, especially if he’s available in round three. Sources tell me competing coaches in the SEC have talked about Taylor in glowing terms and say there’s not as big a drop off between he and Mark Barron as some may think. We’ve been critical of Taylor’s cover skills but it was pointed out that he did see action at cornerback early in his career and may just need to be “coached up” on his ball skills.
April 23rd 11AM
– We have heard from several sources that the Houston Texans are seriously considering using their first round pick, number 26, on tight end Coby Fleener of Stanford. This makes a lot of sense for a number or reasons. It gives the Texans a weapon at tight end, which is not presently on the roster, at least to the extent offered by Fleener. And while most have pegged the team to take a receiver in round one, the franchise can come away with a good wide out later in the draft.
– Surprisingly the other team showing a lot of interest in Fleener are the San Francisco 49ers. We hear its more than just the usual overt interest rather a number of phone calls and close inspection of the Stanford tight end.
– The news is not so good for another tight end. We learned Kevin Koger of Michigan, a sleeper at the position who was a combine snub, had surgery the end of March to repair a torn achilles suffered the prior week in training. The recovery for Koger, who looked terrific during Shrine practices, is expected to be 6-to-8 months.